When should you choose a silent compressor?

Compressors are essential machinery for many applications. It drives important processes and supply air for tools and likewise. However, when a compressor compresses the air, there is a consequence - sound. 

What is sound and noise level?

In order to determine if you need a low-noise compressor, it is important to understand what sound is and how it is measured.

Sounds are waves in air pressure. We perceive the sound when the waves hit our eardrum. The sound we hear, and the noise level depends on the energy in the waves and on the surrounding environment. 

If you are indoors, the size, content and surfaces of the room will affect the sound. The content of the room will be able to absorb or reflect the sound by sound waves encountering a surface. When a sound wave encounters a surface, part of the waves is absorbed while the remaining part is deflected. The efficiency of a surface to absorb sound depends on the material. 

Sound is calculated on the decibel scale, where the decibel value (dB) corresponds to our perception of the noise level. A human can register sound around 0 decibels, but a normal conversation takes places at approx. 60-70 dB. Overall, it can be said that 50 dB is pleasant, while if the noise level rises to approx. 100 dB the sound can be unpleasant.

Get a better understanding of what the different levels correspond to:

Reno noise level graphic

Why does a compressor make noise?

Overall, there are two factors that contribute to compressor noise. 

The first is the location of the compressor.
A compressor placed in a separate compressor room will not give any noise nuisance. If, on the other hand, it is located close to the workstation, you risk being disturbed by the noise of the compressor.
In that case, it may be necessary to consider whether the noise level is of great importance to you.

The second factor is the friction of the compressor. The friction can determine how much noise a compressor makes. If the compressor has elements that touch each other during the compression process, it will create more noise.

Dental equipment

New compressor: Should it be silent or not?

Reno Silent 510 silent compressor

When you are looking to find the right compressor, there are four basic elements you should consider. In addition to this, noise from the compressor should be an additional consideration. 

By reducing the noise from a compressor, it can make the workplace not only more comfortable to be in, but also healthier for the employees. 

It is always a good idea to reduce noise, whether noise prevents effective communication between workers or damages hearing.


In general, a screw compressor tends to be quieter than a piston compressor.

A piston compressor usually has more friction, which makes it noisier, whereas a screw compressor usually has a layer of noise-reducing insulation and less friction.

However, silent piston compressor is also available, so if your need for compressed air is intermittent, but you do not want to be bothered by noise, this type may be the best solution just for you. 


Read more about compressors here